Saint Scarlet: Not Your Average Hard Rock Band
Saint Scarlet isn’t like every other rock band here on the Sunset Strip; these guys include four part harmonies, violin solos, and ear-bending effects in their songs. I promise you: if you listen to Runaway Love, Expendable, Cruel and Unusual, or Howl, you’ll be singing their lyrics for the rest of the week. A truly impressive display of both passion and musical talent, Saint Scarlet catches the ear of any listener with their catchy tunes and exhilarating sound.
Saint Scarlet is a rock band newly introduced to Los Angeles. Their lineup includes guys from across the United States that came to LA to pursue their talents in the music industry. Luckily, I was able to catch up with two of the guys from Saint Scarlet after their first show at Howl At The Moon – Hollywood.
BOSTON: Hey guys; I’m happy to sit down to talk with you! Let’s just start with a little background information: Who are you? What brought you guys together?
JUSTIN: We all met through Craigslist – each having posted ads looking for other rock and roll musicians around out here in LA. We came from all over the US to Los Angeles to seek out like-minded musicians, and after we each heard each others’ tunes, we knew we could create a great sound combining each of our styles. Personally, I’ve just been really impressed by each of these guys and their music, and love getting out under the lights with them.
TAYLOR: I’m a formally trained violinist and self-taught singer/guitarist from the sprawling metropolis of Eagle Grove, IA. I found Justin in the “strictly platonic” area of Craigslist (Justin laughs). The rest is history.
BOSTON: What music or other art inspires or influences you?
TAYLOR: Dirty guitars, black and whites, Danish art, Alabama Shakes.
JUSTIN: We definitely have an expansive range of influences. Couple examples: Taylor’s songs are heavily blues-influenced. Dan writes from a more modern rock camp, and I’m largely influenced by early rock and roll. For me, a lot of films- especially Scorsese or cheesy 80s movies- end up lending a lyric or a specific feeling.
BOSTON: What influence do you see your sound having on the current music scene?
JUSTIN: A strong pattern seems to repeat itself in popular music history- every thirty years or so, at least starting in the 1920s, music and pop culture seems to take on some level of debauchery and decadence. Jazz and swing flourished in the roaring 20s, rock and roll first emerged in the 50s, and the most glamorous iterations of rock and metal erupted in the 80s. Judging by this ebb and flow of musical hedonism, there should be another wave coming soon. We inject our energy into each song and performance, and with a desire for bombastic sonic decadence (hopefully) hitting the scene again soon, our sound will satisfy that need perfect.
TAYLOR: Simply put: we hope to bend the status quo that surrounds any hard rock band.
BOSTON: What song should people check out to get a taste of your sound?
TAYLOR: Expendable or Runaway Love.
JUSTIN: We truly have a range of music; there’s something for everyone. ‘She’s a Storm’ has that sexy 80s hard rock vibe, ‘Cruel and Unusual’ has a driving 90s punk rock feel, and ‘Expendable’ brings a deep, vengefully emotional modern rock sound.
BOSTON: What will stick in people’s minds after seeing one of your shows?
TAYLOR: “I wish they’d play longer”.
JUSTIN: I think our shows balance musical prowess and pure adrenaline in a fiery, electrified performance. We of course include the driving drums and bass, danceable rhythms, and slick guitar riffs expected of any rock show, but also showcase four-part harmonies, acapella moments, soaring violin leads, and digitally affected instrumentation to capture an audience’s attention and create a memorable night.
BOSTON: What can people expect from a Saint Scarlet show?
TAYLOR: Passion and precision.
JUSTIN: A little bit of everything! Danceable anthems, emotional ballads, lyrics ranging from sex-laden desire, to heartfelt pleas, to social commentary, a couple singalong covers thrown in, and probably Dan saying something inappropriate.
BOSTON: What makes you stand out as a band?
TAYLOR: Our versatility and adaptability.
JUSTIN: We definitely don’t align well with the current acoustic folk/indie vibe that is so pervasive in the music scene right now. Nothing against music-to-hipster-by, but it’s just not us. Most nights, we will probably be the loudest, most energetic band (read: sweatiest) on the venue’s bill. Combine that with cutting violin leads, Ryan’s heavy yet intricate drum beats, and some intense vocal harmonies, and we definitely don’t get swallowed by the rest of the musical static.
BOSTON: Where can people find your music?
JUSTIN: We have a few tunes available for free on our Facebook. Fans can stay up to date on shows and new recordings there. Also, our next live show will be at The Mint on July 16th. Come check it out!
BOSTON: What’s next for you? Your future goals?
TAYLOR: New recordings with the full band are in the works.
JUSTIN: Yeah, both to work on some new numbers, as well as revamp older songs. Other than that, being a relatively new band, we’ll just keep honing our sound and playing around Los Angeles!
Justin Blair – Vocals, Guitar, Keys
Michael Xavier – Guitar, Vocals
Dan Edery – Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Taylor Smith – Violin, Vocals
Ryan Gio – Drums
great interview. Love the photography
Thanks Boston! Great article
The core driver of their sound are the BL80 speakers Mike prefers. They slay all other speakers. You should totally get, like, 24 of them and drive 6 massive 4X12 BL80 stacks. Your tone will buckle people’s knees.